Poem “Swamp Femme” an Honorable Mention for the 2018 Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award.”
A provocative, tantalizing, and raw portrayal of what it’s like to be a queer person oppressed by fundamentalism. Amy Lauren confronts hypocrisy with sharp detail and describes the tenderness of timid, passionate love. Lyrically poignant.” -Meredith Jade, author of Unseen: Intersecting Faith & Sexuality in the Bible Belt
“Lauren’s work is masterful—vivid and sensuous. She engages the reader physically and transports them. This is not writing for the risk averse.” —Hilary Brown, author of When She Woke She Was An Open Field
“Throughout this collection, Amy Lauren takes us on a journey of discovery, faith, acceptance, and love. She guides us along, revealing moments so intimate you’ll think you’re inside them, someone’s fingers sliding through your own hair. By the end the reader is lulled into a what feels like a warm embrace, where acceptance and love has finally won. But it’s not a big, grand gesture that we’re left with; instead, it’s the quiet love of real life.” —Courtney LeBlanc, author of The Violence Within
Excerpts: Morning Prayer (Impossible Archetype)
Tools (Rising Phoenix Press)
La Petite Mort (Cordite Poetry Review)
God With Us
Semi-finalist in the Charlotte Mew Chapbook Contest
Poem “Conspire” nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017.
In sometimes lyrical, often plain-spoken, always searing language, Amy Lauren’s God With Us fuses Gospel stories of birth, persecution, death, and resurrection with contemporary images of injustice, hopelessness, and hope. By imagining scenes of Jesus’s life in terms of today’s struggles, Lauren not only gives Biblical tales a startlingly immediate vitality; she also imports the Gospel’s vision of God as a living, breathing, suffering, loving presence into our world, our wounds, our lives.
—Joy Ladin, author of Fireworks in the Graveyard
Unnamed in this collection, the savior is every man, every woman, sons and daughters, lovers, prisoners, the “fallen” and the unclean. Lauren’s poems inscribe a being who walks among us, and becomes one of us—a visceral being of skin, bone, and hair, of sweat and blood. In stark and powerful language, God With Us reminds us of our humanity and our betrayals of humanity, of our divinity and our betrayals of divinity. Yet the poet reminds us too that compassion for the poor in spirit, whether self or other, is the driving force that makes suffering bearable.
—Janice Gould, author of The Force of Gratitude
In these poems, Amy Lauren sews together fragments of our lives with God’s skin, and makes them seamless. We’re not supposed to believe in God like this, or think that being with God is as bloody as romance. She begs to differ. These poems remind us what is real is real. I love them. I will be returning to them again and again.
—Rev. Shelly Fayette, rector of Christ Church in Seattle
In God With Us, Amy Lauren weaves a poignant and necessary thread between the experiences of religion and discovering one’s place in the world. Moving through the delicate balance of theology and lesbianism, Lauren reminds readers that neither exists in a vacuum. Moving through the theological implications of trauma, God With Us draws the reader on a dusty and dirty path towards an arc of cleansing, healing redemption. It is okay to stay, Lauren reminds us; we are needed here. In an age of increasing darkness, God With Us shines as a beacon of hope for all those wondering how they will find their way.
—Kelsey Walck, cofounder of Rising Phoenix Review
Excerpts: False Gods (New Orleans Review)
Be Not Afraid (Rising Phoenix Review)
Caol Ait (Lavender Review, Pushcart Nomination, 2018)
Lauren’s debut poetry collection follows a loose narrative of life as a marginalized identity in the Deep South. Sometimes the most surprising places, such as a local restaurant or a hundred-year-old church, offer healing and hope. Lauren hopes these stories honestly portray both the sins and miracles of Mississippi, and evoke compassion among those who do not share similar experiences.
From Epilogue: “If my feminist theologian friends are correct / and God is a woman / you will have so many mothers.”
Excerpts: St. Valentine (SHANTIH)
For the Motherless in Yazoo (Lavender Review, Best of the Net Nomination, 2017)
Five for Our Child (The Gay and Lesbian Review)